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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Bisons Hockey Organization is proud to announce their U12 girl’s team successfully competed in the National Championships in Green Bay April 7-12 after winning the New York State Hockey Championships in early March. 

The team finished tied for 5th place overall.  The Bisons had two wins and one loss in the round robin portion of the tournament earning them a spot in the quarterfinals.  Coach Scott Welch commented that while he felt the kids would do well, he credits their teamwork and effort for excelling and exceeding his expectations.  The Team is very young and will return 13 players to the roster next year to defend their state title and hopefully advance to the nationals once again. 

During the National Championship’s opening ceremony each team selects one forward and one goaltender to represent their team in the Easton skills competition.  The Bison’s selected Emma Elia and Bailey Lewczyk who did an outstanding job for the team.  Coinciding with that event was a team spirit award for the remaining players of each team in the stands watching the event.  This year’s spirit award went to the Bison’s who beat out the other 11 teams.  A tremendous team effort was put forth by all the girls and something they were extremely proud of.
The Bison’s opened the National Championships against the Mid Fairfield Stars, the number three-ranked team in the country.  After giving up 3 early goals the team settled down, but the Bison’s lost their opener 4-1. 

Game two was against the fifth ranked team in the nation, the Ohio Flames. The Bison’s came out flying and frustrated a much bigger Ohio team, the Bison’s lead 6-0 half way through the game.  The Bison’s went on to win this game 7-2. 

Game Three had a similar feel as game two with the exception that Buffalo had played Little Caesars (Detroit) twice with a loss (5-3) and a tie (1-1) back in November.  Little Caesars was the 9th ranked team in the nation and includes kids from a number of states that specifically go to Detroit to play for this team.   The game was extremely physical and was a test of special teams for both teams, as each team traded power play opportunities.  The Bison’s won this game 6-3 by scoring 3 power play goals.

In the quarterfinal game the Bisons were matched against the hometown favorite, the Green Bay Bobcats, the 4th ranked team in the nation.  The Bison girls started a little slow in this game falling behind 2-0 and being outshot in the first period 12-4.  The second period saw the girls come to life scoring a goal and almost equaling the Bobcats shots 14-12.  The third period seem to go the way of the first period with the Bisons looking tired after playing 2 very physical games in the preliminary round, being outshot 18 to 3 and not getting very many good scoring chances.  The Bobcats were able to score two more goals finishing off a 4-1 victory.

The team finishes the year with an overall record of 34Wins-22Loses-6Ties.  The team also won their Conference Title for the Canadian league and played in the Canadian Frozen Four.
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